People will not own driving licences in the future, as autonomous ride-sharing will become the norm, according to Ralph Debbas, W Motors CEO
Shared mobility will lead to the extinction of car brands, as consumers will rely on suppliers instead, according to the founder and CEO of Dubai-based car manufacturer W Motors.
The company is known for making multi-million dollar cars, including the $3.4m Lykan Hypersport that featured in American action film Fast & Furious 7 in the famous scene that saw it crash through Abu Dhabi’s talent skyscrapers Etihad Towers.
However, the company also boasts an electric car making division called Iconiq, which it launched in partnership with a Chinese firm to create level 4 and 5 autonomous cars.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Ralph Debbas said the car industry will mirror the airline sector in that it will have only a few brands, such as Airbus and Boeing, and many providers, such as Emirates and Etihad Airways.
“You’re not going to have car brands in the future. [Car] brands will not exist… Even W Motors. You’ll have two or three brands, and suppliers that are like airplane suppliers. Airbus and Boeing are the main dealers but you have thousands of providers such as Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways that are using these airplanes,” Debbas said.
“When you go on an airplane, you never ask who or where the airplane is manufactured. You just say, ‘oh, Emirates, great!’ and you take it. You don’t ask if it’s a Boeing or an Airbus. That’s what will happen with cars. This is the shared mobility of the future”, he added.
Debbas said he wants to transform the car indsutry the way Marlboro maker Philip Morris International revolutionised cigarettes with the launch of tobacco heating device IQOS.
“[André Calantzopoulos, CEO of Philip Morris International] said a few years ago that his mission is, ‘to destroy Marlboro’. So he launched [electronic tobacco heating device] IQOS. He is revolutionising cigarettes. We’re doing the same with cars,” Debbas said.
He claimed that people will not own driving licences in the future, as autonomous ride-sharing will become the norm.
“The reality is that my son, who is three years old, will never own a driving licence or a car. When he’s 18, he won’t know how to drive. It’s happening much faster than we think. Technology for autonomous driving is here today. Infrastructure is getting there,” he said.
“The only missing link is the psychological factor for human beings; that they will ride cars with no humans in them or human interaction. It will take a few years to start accepting that fact,” he added.
W Motors has achieved a whopping 400% growth rate in less than two years from 2017 to 2019, according to Debbas, and expects further growth in November this year, as it plans to open its new factory, a research and development centre as well as a tech lab in Dubai Silicon Oasis.
It will also expand its offices in Shanghai and Beijing from 270 employees to 1,000 by the end of 2019.